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UV Light – Do I need disinfection?


Any water source can become contaminated with microbes, and it always comes down to – you guessed it – fecal contamination.

Common sources include:

  • Human: water sewage treatment plants, combined sewage overflow (CSO), poorly sited/functioning septic systems;
  • Domestic Animals: manure spreading, pit stock overflow; or
  • Wildlife
  • .

True, the ground does act as a natural filter of sorts, but make no mistake, microbes travel through soil layers right along with the infiltrating water. Viruses, because of their small size and large numbers (among other things), have the greatest potential to reach groundwater.

Having reached a saturated layer, microbial contaminants will spread – in every direction – through the whole groundwater body(1). Yes, the deeper the well, the better – assuming it’s actually drilled into a confined aquifer. Those wells are generally less susceptible to contamination(1).

Private Well Testing Results
An analysis of 54 groundwater studies, most of which were focused on private wells, showed that 15% of tested wells were positive for enteric pathogens: bacteria, viruses and/or protozoa(4). It seemed that bacteria and protozoa were local issues, while viral contamination was related to contamination at the aquifer level.

So, a well owner can simply test the water to know if harmful microbes are in it, right? Not so fast! The study(4) found NO correlation between the % of wells positive for indicator organisms (total coliforms, E.coli) and the % of wells positive for pathogens. And other studies have reached similar conclusions.

That means that the relatively inexpensive and quick water test people rely on so heavily is really not a great predictor of the presence of pathogens – unless the water is tested on a regular basis. It’s a point-in-time indicator of whether there’s a risk that contaminants can creep into the well.

Continuous Disinfection
So, what does that mean? Peace of mind can only really be provided by ensuring the water coming from the household taps is disinfected. Not the well, but the water. Continuous disinfection is part of the water treatment strategy for municipalities because it protects public health. Every private well owner deserves that same level of protection.

Ready to learn more about how UV just might be the best continuous disinfection solution for your customers? Fill out the contact form to have a Liberty Pure Solutions, Inc. Technician contact you.

Copied from Viqua™ UV Website
1. Instruction Handbook for Manual Drilling Teams on Hydro-geology for Well Drilling, Well Installation and Well Development. (Vand der Wal, 2010
2. Quality of Water from Domestic Wells in Principal Aquifers of the United States, 1991-2004 (USGS,2008)
3. State of Private Drinking Water Wells in Canada: A Human Health Risk Perspective (GW Solutions, 2013)
4. Hynds PD, Thomas MK, Pintar KDM (2014) Contamination of Groundwater Systems in the US and Canada by Enteric Pathogens, 1990–2013: A Review and Pooled-Analysis. PLoS ONE 9(5): e93301.
5. Pathogens in water: value and limits of correlation with microbial indicators (Payment, Locas, 2011)

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